Review: Crookclaw Transmuter

Draft Priority: 1

Impact: 1

Stack Status: 2
It’s just not good.

Discussion:

We live in a time submerged in mysteries. One of those would be “why the fuck is this card in my Type 4 stack?”

Well, there’s actually a simple answer; it has Flash, which immediately provides it with some kind of value in a format with limitless mana. And in the interest of fairness, the effect can occasionally make a minor difference. But at the end of the day, this card doesn’t do much. It sucks.

Overall: One and a half overly-honest reviews out of five

Review: Haunting Hymn

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 5

Stack Status: *6*
Stacker Pentecost.

Discussion:

Hypnotic Cloud scored four out of five in it’s review, so you can safely assume this will score higher. I’m sure a cursory glace t this card will explain why. Some people have questioned why I consider this card so good, but that’s usually before they play against it a few times. An instant speed discard spell hitting two cards is pretty good already, but if it’s opportune, a four-card discard spell can be absolutely backbreaking. Make no mistake; this is spell that can be used as a stiff jab or an absolute haymaker, which is awesome in Type 4. Almost anything Instant with a bigger effect than Twiddle is probably worth using (and even Twiddle is good if it cantrips, of course), so this is clearly going to make the cut.

I only give it a draft priority of 4 because most people don’t recognize it as being so good. Sometimes it might even circle back to you on a second pick, though if this happens, wear a hazmat suit so you don’t catch stupid.

Overall: Five Hymns to Tourach out of five, Stacker Pentecost Glare of Approval

Review: Evangelize

Draft Priority: 5

Impact: 4

Stack Status: 5
Stacker Pentecost. 9 CMC with Buyback? C’mon son.

Discussion:

Inspired by one of the all-time greats, Preacher, Evangelize presents an even more likable package for Type 4. None of that ‘summoning sickness’ horseshit, no risk of the creature getting blown the fuck out, nothing. Just as the art depicts; a disembodied voice from the sky with an accompanying Price-styled laser show and a new creature is yours. This is pretty obviously a good card for Type 4 but you may be surprised by the distinct lack of an Academy-sanctioned image of Idris Elba at the bottom of the review letting you know he’s ddisdainful but knows the card is question is too baller not to recognize as such.

The issue is that when you’re using Evangelize, you tend to get in this Evangelize loop where you’re stealing creatures but not doing anything else. You steal a guy, your opponent kills it. You steal a guy, somebody forces you to block with it. Nobody seems like they’re going anywhere, and eventually, you cast something else just to mix it up. The trick with Evangelize is realizing it’s often NOT the best-value move. Don’t fall back on it. Use it occasionally (also to prevent the counterspell messing with it), recognize it’s powerful, but also remember everything in your hand is pretty strong is is often a better play even if it seems to present less ‘value’.

Overall: Four and a half Preachers out of five

Review: Wipe Away

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 3
Staple. Probably the best single-target bounce spell.

Discussion:

Split second can’t be stopped. It’s an outstanding spell that would be ranked an easy 5/5 but the type of role it happens to be in is pretty limited, so 3/5 is pretty much the highest type of score this spell can possibly hope for. I can’t offhand think of a single-target bounce spell I’d rather have. Some of the cantrip ones are pretty close. But the unstoppability of the card is what makes it money.

It’s kind of sad, really, that Split Second had so few cards printed. Even among the fifteen cards, there’s not really a whole lot of them that are good for Type 4. The ones that do work are great and I’d think if they revisited this mechanic today we might get a stream of non-stop bangers.

And man, that treefolk is HATING whatever is happening to it. I have no idea what it’s supposed to represent but it must be awful.

Overall: Three “uuuh im gettin wiped”s out of five

Review: Jaya Ballard, Task Mage

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 4

Stack Status: 4
Rock solid roleplayer. Good in all kinds of Magic, but very good here too.

Discussion:

In the interest of full disclosure, this is right up there with Weatherseed Treefolk and Desolation Angel as one of my favourite Magic cards, so this review is biased as possible. I also have this dope-ass alter of this card, so…

Its fine to admit you’re mirin

…but even with all that aside I think this is objectively, a good card for Type 4 because it’s fun, versatile, encourages meaningful decision making instead of just being steamroller-powerful, but is unlikely to take over a game and have tons of fail safes that keep it from being overwhelming.

So, obviously, Inferno. Yeah, it’s money. But she kills herself in the process, making it a pretty serious loss of cards. Therefore, she’s often best if left on the field for a while sneaking in for two damage and sniping at vulnerable targets, then you flip the Inferno switch and suddenly fire everywhere. In this role she is an excellent utility hitter.

Should you skip that Stormtide Leviathan so you can play Jaya? Almost certainly not (unless you already have Loxodon Warhammer or something), but keep in mind she can kill the Leviathian. She’s good like that. She solves problems.

Overall: Three and a half dope alters out of five

Review: Fool’s Demise

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 4

Stack Status: 3
Staple. This is a pretty good card that isn’t especially great in Type 4, but it’s serviceable regardless.

Discussion:

“uuuuh i dies but this metroid thing is gonna bring me back to life sweeeeet”

Man, does that corpse ever look… corpse-y in that art. You know that dude got played out. But don’t worry, a brain came down to rescue his spirit, first blessing it with some sweet tentacle love in a brief and ultimately empty incorporeal fling before returning to the moral plane for the brief and brutally unpleasant existence of a creature on the average Type 4 board.

It also does engage the usual ETB shenanigans, provides some card advantage, and is all-around pretty good… except that is basically takes up an entire sorcery phase to maintain your current board position. It’s great to solidify what you’ve got going on, but if you’re way behind this can be a SUPER dead draw, so be warned before you expect some ghost-brain action to solve all your problems.

Overall: Three and a half tentacle romances out of five

Review: Ophidian Eye

Draft Priority: 2

Impact: 2

Stack Status: 2
Borderline. It’s not bad or anything, but it’s so unexceptional and almost always get picked last.

Discussion:

This is another instance of “it has Flash so it goes in”. While this philsophy isn’t necessarily a bad one, as you can see not all flash cards are exactly blowing up Type 4 tableaus across the continent. The question is: What would you take this over? I can grab a big pinch of cards out of my Stack and run through an awful lot before I find something that’s more appealing in abstract. This is a bad sign for Ophidian Eye’s longevity.

The truth is in play it’s almost always an ok cantrip spell. You cast it on an opponent’s creature in combat, draw a card and call it a day; anything after that is a bonus. That’s horrible. You don’t cast spells to cast spells, just like you don’t grind your boots into somebody’s couch just for the sake of doing it. There’s times when the Eye can do a LOT more work than you’d expect (having one on a Hydra Omnivore is obviously tits), but there’s not commonplace. A few cool combinations and circumstances, along with a healthy spoonful of bias, keep this off the chopping block for the time being.

That said, outside of play there’s a lot I like about this card. It’s a throwback to an old-school treat with pretty cool flavour implications. I really like the reference and just imparting an element of a previous card to another without being too obtuse about it. Time Spiral was hit and miss in this regard but Ophidian Eye nails it.

Overall: Two lazy workers kept on because of supervisor friends out of five

Review: Mystical Teachings

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 5

Stack Status: 5
Boss. It should be in all y’all stacks.

Discussion:

 

Knowing the need to cast spells constantly and maintain the image of being able to react to your opponents at any time, Mystical Teachings lets you back up your mean look in most decks. If you’ve already drafted strong instants, snap it up. If you’re a bit behind in the instants department, it’s draft priority drops a bit but consider a hate-draft if Spout Swarm, Dwarven Catapult and other strong instants are known quantities in your game. While it telegraphs your intentions, there’s no shame in using it to just grab a pair of counterspells as well.

Impact: Four and a half meaningless artworks out of five

Review: Molder

Draft Priority: 3

Impact: 3

Stack Status: 5
Staple. It has ‘X’ in the cost and won’t instantly kill somebody.

Discussion:

This Molder is deep in a conspiracy to discover why your opponents are allowed to play powerful artifacts and enchantments. The truth is out there: they don’t. Gain some life, kill their stuff. Molder isn’t fancy, but it sure does work.

Overall: Four Honda Civics out of five

Review: Momentary Blink

Draft Priority: 4

Impact: 4

Stack Status: 4
Solid. Can go into just about any Type 4 build, as it’s power is only as good as it’s environment.

Discussion:

As the New World Order of card design has implemented Enters The Battlefield: The Gathering as the standard means of “interaction” in Magic today, the value of Momentary Blink has only gotten better. It will likely improve as Wizards looks at sales graphs and sees the best way to sell packs is to make Enters the Battlefield triggers replace spells and even mana, while not printing any hate technology for it.

Don’t hesitate to hate-draft this card. You will almost certainly have some target for it, and it’s always good to spite somebody who can do something awesome with it by doing something completely mediocre with it.

Impact: Four nWo black and white shirts with sleeves torn off out of five.